Daimler DE36 Green Goddess Drophead Coupe by Hooper

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DE36 Green Goddess Drophead Coupe by Hooper





Daimler DE was a series of chassis made by the Daimler Company from 1946 to 1953. DE chassis were the basis for Daimler's largest and most expensive cars at the time. There were two versions: the short-wheelbase DE 27 with the Daimler Twenty-seven six cylinder engine, and the long-wheelbase DE 36, the last Daimler Straight-Eight, with the Thirty-six straight-eight engine.

The DE chassis was designed by Daimler chief engineer C. M. Simpson. It was based on a separate steel frame, which was the conventional practice at the time. This allowed customers to order a rolling chassis and have a body custom-built to their own specifications by a coachbuilder. The side rails of the frame were reinforced by x-braced crossmembers.

The rear wheels were driven through a Hotchkiss drive system modified with control arms linking the rear axle casing to pivot points on the frame located directly above the true pivot of the leaf springs. These arms controlled the lateral movement of the rear axle without distorting the normal action of the springs, and allowed freedom in the vertical and longitudinal directions. Final drive was by hypoid gears, replacing the worm drive that had been used on final drives in Daimler cars since 1910. The rear track was 63 inches (1,600 mm) wide. Tyres were 8.00 x 17 all around.

Based on the design used with the DB 18 chassis, the front wheels were suspended independently of each other by pairs of control arms, of which the lower arms were of the wide-based wishbone type and were supported by coil springs mounted to the frame. The upper arm was shorter than the lower and operated Luvax-Girling dampers. The track rods were pivoted to swing at the same radius as the suspension links. The front dampers were connected to each other by an anti-roll bar. The front track was 60 inches (1,524 mm) wide.

The steering used Marles roller gear but, instead of the kingpin being inclined to create castor angle as was conventional, the hub centre was placed behind the kingpin centres. This was done to improve the controllability of the car.

Braking was by Girling hydro-mechanical brakes, with hydraulic brakes at the front wheels and mechanical brakes at the rear wheels. These were assisted by a Clayton-Dewandre servo motor.

The bodywork available through Daimler included electrically operated windows and central divider, interior lights that were switched on when a door or the boot lid was opened, and warning lights on the rear wings that were on while the boot was open.

The DE 36 was the last Daimler Straight-Eight and the last British motor car with a straight-eight engine to be made available to the public.

In addition to British royalty, Daimler sold DE 36s to the royalty of Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Holland, Monaco, Saudi Arabia, and Thailand. 205 DE 36 chassis were built. Production ended in 1953.

Daimler and its coachbuilding subsidiary, Hooper, built three show cars on DE 36 chassis for display at the annual Earls Court Motor Show: the "Green Goddess", a 5-seat drophead coupé with a hydraulically operated hood, in 1947; the "Golden Daimler", a touring limousine with gold foil trim and 7,000 gold stars applied to the sides of the body, in 1951; and the "Blue Clover", a 5-seat fixed-head coupé, in 1952.

The DE 36 used the Thirty-six straight-eight engine and had a wheelbase of 147 inches (3,734 mm).

The 147-inch wheelbase Daimler DE-36 chassis was powered by a 150hp straight-eight displacing 5460cc (5.4L). The large, silky smooth engine was coupled to a Daimler Fluid Flywheel transmission, controlled by a pre-selector mechanism. Factory documents indicate as many as 216 DE-36 chassis were built, with the final units being dispatched in 1953.

As would be expected, the lengthy DE-36 chassis were most often fitted with heavy, formal limousine coachwork. Delightful exceptions to the rule were the six magnificent DE-36 drop-head coupes created by Hooper's in the style of Sir Bernard's prototypical 1948 show car. Although delivered in various colors, all of the Hooper DE-36 drop-heads are popularly known today as Green Goddesses.

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